living artfully ~ winter 2013/14

noticing beauty

Here are a few photos of the colors of winter in and around my home and studio at the lake. The ability (and choice sometimes) to "take notice" of beautiful and wonderful things - this is the wealth of artistic living. 

christmas rose in january

To me, there is something artistic about gardening. Monet always had flowers. I'm thankful for the cheery, white and golden faces of Christmas Rose flowers greeting me on a non-rainy day in January.

colors of winter kale

Brilliant food from the winter garden, kale becomes sweeter after a frost. I make a massaged kale salad with finely cut kale, sweetened rice vinegar, olive oil and garlic. Mix, massage for two minutes, and let sit. It sort of "cooks" down and softens nicely.


new year's day paddle tradition

A light rain surprised and quieted me on my New Year's Day paddle this year. Click on the photo to see more of the story.


new year's paddle II

A sunnier day called me and my neighbor-friend to one-up the tradition of kayaking in early January. Same lake, different lighting--sunlight reveals color! Click on the photo to see more.


first annual parade

Neighbors and visitors of Offutt Lake illuminated boats and floats with thousands of lights the Saturday evening before Christmas. Participation was excellent for the first year...and on a drizzly evening too.


I illuminated our dock with mouth-blown glass and LED lights to contribute to the festivity.

lantana colors in hand-knit wool

Mom wanted wool yarn dyed in the bold colors of her flower lantana which was blooming in a bright blue flower pitcher. The colors inspired her, so I dyed the yarn.

Here below are the socks in progress. You'll have to imagine no green/leaves.

Now there's a little warmth in winter.


artsy thoughts

what does it mean?

I often hear this question asked about art, "What does it mean?"

It’s a good question, because it suggests the art has a function exceeding mere ornamentation. The problem with the question is that in answering it directly, the “art-ness” of the art is ruined—sort of like pinning down a butterfly to analyze it. Just as an explained joke is not funny, “telling” about art can spoil its effectiveness.

If I want to tell you something, I'll tell you. But if I want you to experientially "know" something, I may instead invite you to view it for yourself. I'll show it to you (in a certain context), and allow you the dignity of discovery.

I believe that true art has abilities of showing and telling in a dance together.

The potency of art transcends mere illustration of information. Inspired art is potent for revelation. True art invites you to see/hear, encounter, and discover. It may reveal to the spirit. It may touch the soul. It may awaken, stir, disturb, frighten, soothe, or heal a soul. Art can inspire us, move us, and help us to understand experientially.

Give real art time. Live with it and let it influence your whole being (body, soul, and mind). Don't rush yourself to an immediate "answer." If it's too obvious--shouting at you--it is perhaps mere propaganda, telling you what to believe or manipulating your emotions.

If an artwork has a beneficial effect on you, allow it to continue to influence you. While it may have layers of clear meaning (for the mind), it's greater purpose might be to reveal beauty and wonder. Let art "speak" to your mind and heart. Look for both information and revelation. Release yourself of the burden of expecting to "figure it out." Consider what it may offer your soul as well. Maybe it has ability to quiet you.

This year (and always), I want to enjoy being more than a spectator or merely an information gatherer. I want to live beyond the "information age." I want to seek and take hold of lasting wisdom and revelation. There is simply so much yet to see, experience, and discover.

slowing down

Note: For me to gain a revelatory understanding might take time. This requires waiting and patience – two nearly forgotten virtues in our western way of “everything now.”



more artful living

Here are links to previous artful living pages






click to link back to winter journal ~ new year 2014